Official Review: The Womb Rebellion by Pwlong

Please use this forum to discuss historical fiction books. Common definitions define historical fiction as novels written at least 25-50 years after the book's setting.
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Official Review: The Womb Rebellion by Pwlong

Post by ritah » 02 Jan 2018, 14:46

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Womb Rebellion" by Pwlong.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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What comes to your mind when you think of slavery? If somehow before you were born, you knew that you would be born a slave, would you still want to be born? If your children and loved ones were also slaves, traded, forced to mate like livestock, and overworked without pay, would you still think life was worth living?

The Womb Rebellion is an intense and captivating narrative that quickly introduces us to a gripping scene between Pearl, a midwife, and Ruby, a rebel by day zero, who refuses to be born into a life of slavery. Ruby loses the battle, but not her rebellious spirit. The story allows us to delve into her thoughts, her life as a slave, and her ultimate act of defiance; an act that throws the whole Bellamy plantation upside down.

The narrative is mostly told from Pearl’s perspective in the first person. Through her recollections, we frequently encounter Ruby, a daring, strong-willed girl who has a mind of her own. The stories she would often tell Pearl about her experiences are also in the first-person point of view, and this made it easy to get to know Ruby as a multidimensional character. Ruby said and did things that would have me laughing out loud, and other times, just like Pearl, I would struggle with some of her decisions. Still, I admired her determination and courage. Other characters were also convincing and well fleshed-out, and just when I thought I knew all about a character, a new, unexpected dimension is brought to light.

The Womb Rebellion left me with a lot to think about, long after I read the last page. By focusing on the experiences of women in slavery, it highlighted the different experiences of the two genders as well as the compulsory gender-based slave roles. I felt compassionate for the men and women who had to live through a time like that. The book, being a work of historical fiction gives it a nice blend of history and fiction, which fans of the genre will undoubtedly appreciate. I know I did.

Ruby's story is divided into three parts: Books 1, 2, and 3. I was flying through the pages, but after the first two parts, the story slowed down a little as the narrative took on an air of mysticism. With mysticism came actions from Ruby that I could not fully understand; why would she hurt the slaves and not the slave masters? I think I understand what her actions were meant to do. However, I still thought the method and extremes were a bit strange.

In her debut novel, the author, P.W. Long impressed me with an exciting story, vivid descriptions, and memorable characters. The dialogue was masterfully done and fit the setting. Based on the books I have read, I would say this one has a medium level of violence, but sensitive readers may view it as extreme due to the nature of deaths. The book also has a few descriptions of sexual acts, which make me think it would be best suited for a mature audience. Considering everything I mentioned above, I think the book is worth 4 out of 4 stars. I would recommend The Womb Rebellion to anyone interested in reading about slavery from women’s perspective and fans of the genre.

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The Womb Rebellion
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Post by EllonLecha » 14 Jan 2018, 03:44

very interesting I would like to read more about it, I already like it because I see that it involves woman empowerment.

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Post by Mercy Bolo » 14 Jan 2018, 06:02

I like that this story begins on a thought provoking note by including the option of refusing to be born into slavery.
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Post by Mureithi mundia » 14 Jan 2018, 10:40

I will read this as am inspired to,all my life i have known one thing,rebels love defiantly.

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Post by kandscreeley » 14 Jan 2018, 13:04

Believe it or not, I've actually thought about this. I would love to have lived in the 1800s or so. However, I have a feeling I would be a slave. So... Sounds like a really good story. Thanks for the introduction.
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Post by ritah » 14 Jan 2018, 13:29

@ellonlecha I thought Ruby was a strong character.

@mercybolo me too, Ruby fought hard not to.

@mureithimundia enjoy the book, Ruby will make you laugh with her rebellious spirit - some of the things she did were hilarious.

@kandscreeley I do. That's interesting. What appeals to you most about the 1800's? I love my comforts, 'freedom', and all the technology the modern life affords too much to desire a life in the past. Given a choice between the past or future... I'd rather have life 1000+ years from now mainly because of all the advancement and knowledge I imagine a time like that will have.

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Post by Kelebogile Mbangi » 15 Jan 2018, 00:58

Slavery from a woman's perspective? Interesting. It sounds very enlightening.
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Post by juliusotinyo » 15 Jan 2018, 11:17

Hi ritah,
Nice review of a thought provoking tale. Slavery was harsh, at times I wonder how their kids fared. Funny how financial slavery has replaced it. Anyway, nice read and I'd definitely like to read more on this.

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Post by antoi1994 » 15 Jan 2018, 17:20

The Womb Rebellion SHOULD only be read by people with MATURE thinking or is already at the age of maturity otherwise this would impair one's view about the world and all that creeps on it.

This story is about SLAVERY. With slavery, all else comes with it: house maid, guinea pig, test monkey or even a submissive sex slave. It revolves around the views of the two main characters, Pearl and Ruby.
Pearl is the midwife who happens to accept the way she is brought in this world however is not any near to being thankful with the life that she has but still keeps up on it. Ruby on the other hand is the rebellious one who does everything just to be treated equally and have her freedom not for being a woman but to have the life and privilege of being human. This book is similar to the historical age of black Americans who were treated as slaves, its just that this one focused on someone who had the guts to speak up her mind and stand for what she thinks is inhumane.

The only set back of this story is the change of mind and principle of the main character, Ruby, who at the end did the things she doesn't want to be done on her, being born a slave. There are still events left uncovered but the only reason that seems viable for the change is the fact that she was scared after all that she's been through and proved that she is still nothing and nothing can ever change that.

Ruby is a symbol of a strong but undefined woman and being born as such in the age of racism, one needs both to survive.

I think the main point of the story is to at least try and stand on what you think is right. Others may think otherwise but as long as you know what is right and just, no one may be on your side, but you won't have any regrets in your life...and that would make y our life worth living.



---antoi

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Post by Mjgarrison » 16 Jan 2018, 11:16

This sounds like a great book that I would need to get a box of tissues to read. I'm not sure why, but I love books that keep me emotionally invested. Thanks for the wonderful review.

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Post by Adeline37 » 16 Jan 2018, 14:38

Your review makes me want to read the book! Thanks for posting.

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Post by ritah » 18 Jan 2018, 09:37

Thank you all for taking the time to read my review!

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Post by Cotwani » 23 Jan 2018, 11:29

Thanks for the thought-provoking review. The book sounds intense.

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Post by N_R » 26 Jan 2018, 03:06

Thanks for the review - this sounds like a captivating book and one that is well worth reading. It reminds me of the ancient Romans who said that slaves had a choice....they could be slaves or they could kill themselves and hence not be slaves. This book sounds like it reminds us that while a person can enslave our body they can never enslave our minds and our spirit.

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Post by Lincolnshirelass » 26 Jan 2018, 05:10

I would certainly like to read this. Even nowadays there are books and people that try to downplay the horror of slavery, 'seeing it in context' and the like. Perhaps I am partly guilty myself, as I enjoyed 'Gone with the Wind' (though with attendant unease). We need to be reminded that it was wrong and evil, always was, always will be.
An Eye for an Eye only ends up making the whole world blind.

Mahatma Gandhi

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